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Broker Strategies: Is Your Website Equipped for the Mobile Real Estate Revolution?

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By Doug Breakes

Did you know that every minute, the mobile web receives 217 new users? Did you realize that for some large real estate websites like HomeFinder.com and Zillow.com, more than one-third of visitors on weekends browse from a mobile device? When potential clients visit your website, do they see a mobile-friendly site? If not, below are six important tips to remember to be sure your potential and current clients can access your site and listings on-the-go.

1. Know what your website looks like on all mobile devices: To get started, see what your website looks like on a wide array of mobile devices. Head to CrossBrowser-Testing.com, a great service that will generate screenshots of your website on any browser and device you choose.

2. Use a clear layout and no Flash content: When mobile-optimizing your site, use clear, concise text. Be sure to keep the scrolling function simple, reduce visual clutter, make your search functions both abundant and easy, and keep your brand’s most important message at the top of the page. Additionally, do not include any Flash content on your site, as iOS devices (iPads, iPhones, iPods) do not support Flash.

3. Use mobile-friendly HTML5 features: HTML5, available on both dominant mobile browsers (Chrome for Android and Safari for iOS), provides useful tools, such as geolocation, or the ability for the browser to identify the user’s location. Consider using this feature, as well as telephone and email links, so your customers can use click-to-call and click-to-email to reach you with one click.

4. Enable “drive-by Googling”: Homebuyers are increasingly conducting “drive-by Googling” of homes for sale that catch their eye. If your site is not mobile optimized, you are missing out on a significant amount of traffic from potential customers who Google your website, but then find out they can’t access its content on their mobile device.

5. Mobile email marketing: Make sure your marketing emails are mobile-friendly. If you are checking the majority of your emails on your smartphone, you can sure bet that your clients are, too. Thirty-six percent of emails are opened on smartphones, so make sure the links, content and subject lines of your emails are formatted for mobile devices. A mobile device will only show a maximum of 20 characters in a subject line, so edit your content accordingly.

6. Offer great app resources to your clients: By suggesting the latest tools and advice in real estate technology, you offer clients cutting-edge search tools and the opportunity to prove yourself as an industry expert. HomeFinder.com recently released its free HomeFinder.com Real Estate Android™ app, which was built entirely on homebuyer feedback to provide the most efficient means to home search on-the-go. It gives homebuyers a quick and easy way to search the site’s millions of home listings and offers the benefits homebuyers want most from a mobile app, including excellent maps, a multitude of search options and automatic syncing between the app and a computer or tablet.

Mobile technology and the real estate industry are two fields that are constantly evolving. When mobile-optimizing your website, a concise message, clean layout and mobile-friendly features should be constants.

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